What's the Point? Sum it Up!

Reading to Learn

By: Ali Long



Rationale: Reading for comprehension is one of the most important goals for readers.  One skill that helps students comprehend what they are reading is summarization.  Students who know how to summarize can pull out important facts and details to create a deeper meaning and condensed version of what they are reading.



Pencil (1 per student)

Paper (1 per student)

Highlighter (1 per student)

A copy of the article, "Giant Jellyfish Invasion" (1 per student)

A copy of the article, "Balding Penguin gets Custom Wetsuit" (1 per student)

Document camera, Overhead, or white board and dry erase marker

Summarization rules: Pick out a topic sentence, pick out important facts from the passage, remove information that is not very useful or that does not back up the topic sentences, pick out repeated ideas and delete them.



1. Hello class!  Today we are going to work on summarizing what we read!  Summarizing is a great tool to make us outstanding readers!  Can anyone tell me what a summarization is?  That's right!  When we summarize we are condensing what we read from the whole article to just a brief statement of the main points.  We will do this by using some key summarization rules.  First you pick out the main idea.  This is usually the topic sentence. Next, pick out the important facts that support the main idea.  Then, remove any information that is not useful or important to the main idea by crossing it out.  Last, cross out or delete the repeating ideas. That is how to make a summary!


2. Today we are going to practice by reading an article and summarizing it!  First you will need to learn the summarization rules.  Show students the rules on document camera or whiteboard. While you are reading you will pick out a topic sentence that states the main idea of the whole article and underline it. Then, pick out important facts from the passage and highlight them with your highlighter.  Remove information that is not very useful or that does not back up the topic sentences by crossing it out, pick out repeated ideas and cross them out as well.


3. After you introduce the rules. Model for students how to summarize the article "Balding Penguin Gets Custom Wetsuit".  Pass out a copy of the article to each student.  Tell them make the same marks you do to practice summarizing.  Read the article aloud one time through without making any marks.  Then start over at the beginning.  What is the topic sentence? Good!  Lets underline it.  What information is important in the first paragraph?  Good!  Highlight the importance information.  What information is unimportant?  Let's cross that information out with your pencil. (Keep doing this throughout the rest of the article)


4. Now everyone get out your clean sheet of paper and I want you to take the underlined and highlighted information and we are going to practice putting it together to make a summary!  Show students how to put information together to make it flow nicely as a summarization.


Assessment:  Give students a copy of the article "Giant Jellyfish Invasion" to take home and summarize.  Students should use the summarization rules to complete this assignment.




National Geographic Kids.

Musgrave, Ruth A. "Giant Jellyfish Invasion"  http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/stories/animalsnature/giant-jellyfish-invasion/


National Geographic Kids.

Associated Press.  "Balding Penguin Gets Custom Wetsuit"



Poole, Malorie. "Summing it up!"



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